Fregola, lentils, sun-dried tomatoes, black olives and fresh herbs are just some of the simple ingredients used to make this healthy fregola salad recipe. Not only does it taste great, this fregola recipe is so versatile that it can be eaten hot or cold and can conveniently be prepared ahead of time.
Today, I will be singing the praises of this humble and healthy fregola salad.
Made with a few of my favorite ingredients (hopefully yours too) and some fresh herbs and spices, you will quickly fall in love with this simple fregola recipe.
Fregola, this wonderful pasta from Sardinia, is unfamiliar to a lot of people, but it’s one of the staples in my pantry.
What does fregola look like? As you can see, fregola are tiny little beads of semolina which have been toasted. The roasting creates different color variations, from tan to dark brown; these different colors contribute to the visual rustic appeal of the final dish. As we all know, we eat with our eyes first!
What does fregola feel like? The process of roasting these little beads of semolina will create a rough surface with a great absorbability factor. As a result, it is great with sauces. Fregola’s firm texture is a welcome addition to many salads as well.
Roasting the fregola will also enhance another one of our five senses… taste!
What does fregola taste like? Given that it is a pasta, fregola tastes surprising nutty. This unique flavor contribution, combined with its chewy texture, make it an ideal ingredient to use in salads.
If you are looking for more salad recipes using fregola, be sure to click here.
Just in case you are wondering, fregola can be found in most Italian specialty stores. It can easily be found online as well.
The links on this blog are affiliate links, which means I’ll earn a commission if you use those links (there’s no extra charge to you).
There really isn’t much that I can say about this wonderful legume that I haven’t already said in this post about using lentils as a meal prep solution.
Lentils are both accessible and affordable.
They are super easy to prepare (rinse, simmer, serve).
They are crazy healthy for you.
They can easily be incorporated in almost any dish.
They taste delicious.
… I could go on, but I think you get the picture. If you want to know more about lentils, there are videos and cooking tutorials available on the Lentils.org website. I encourage you to check this website out as it is such a great reference for anyone that wants to learn more about lentils!
I’ve probably talked enough about my two favorite ingredients… I think it is time to make this fregola salad.
HOW TO MAKE FREGOLA RECIPE:
We are going to need two pots, one to cook the lentils and the other to cook the fregola.
In the first pot, place about 3 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Then add 1 cup of lentils (green or brown) and simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until the lentils reach the stage where they still have a nice chew to them.
In the other pot, bring 4 cups of salted water to a boil; add the fregola; reduce the heat and simmer for about 10-12 minutes (or according to package cooking time). The texture we are looking for is basically al dente, just like any other pasta.
While the lentils and the fregola are simmering, we can get started on the vinaigrette. In a medium bowl, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, the balsamic vinegar, honey, lemon zest and juice.
Once the fregola is cooked, drain and place in a large mixing bowl. Add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss together.
Then, just add the rest of the ingredients; sun dried tomatoes, black olives, minced celery, chopped fresh chive, Italian parsley and the vinaigrette.
The lentils will take a little longer to cook, but when they are done, just add them in.
Combine thoroughly together and season with salt and pepper according to personal taste. One final drizzle of olive oil or a generous squirt of lemon juice and your fregola salad is done!
Feel free to add toasted almonds or walnuts to the fregola salad; they do a great job complimenting fregola’s already nutty taste, and add some great texture to this fregola recipe, too.
The wonderful thing about this fregola salad is that it can be served warm, at room temperature or even cold… and the leftovers make for great lunches!
Origins of this Fregola Recipe:
Fregola is, without a doubt, a household favorite. Its nuttiness and unique texture just elevates any dish it is in.
My family loves to eat fregola in salads. More often than not, we don’t even use a recipe. We just start adding fresh and wholesome ingredients together and taste as we go along.
This particular fregola salad was the result of my daughter and I experimenting and having fun in the kitchen 🙂
As a result of its versatility, you can literally combine it with nearly any herb and vegetable you have on hand.
But don’t take my word for it… try it for yourself and be sure to leave a comment!
I love to hear about your recipes that include fregola.
THANKS SO MUCH for following and being part of the She Loves Biscotti community where you will find Simple & Tasty Family-Friendly Recipes with an Italian Twist.
Ciao for now,
★★★★★ If you have made this Fregola Salad recipe, I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to rate the recipe!
Healthy Fregola Salad Recipe with Lentils
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup lentils brown or green
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup fregola sarda
- 1/3 cup parsley Italian, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup chives fresh, chopped
- 1/4 cup celery finely chopped
- 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes
- 1/4 cup black olives chopped
- 4 tablespoons olive oil separated
- 1½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- pinch chili optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup walnuts chopped, roasted
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- In the first medium sized saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to boil.
- Add lentils; reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until lentils are cooked but still have a bite to them.
- In the second medium sized saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
- Add salt, bay leaf and fregola; reduce heat and simmer for about 12 -14 minutes or until al dente.
- In the meanwhile, prepare the vinaigrette by whisking together the ingredients.
- Once the fregola is cooked, drain and place in a large mixing bowl. Add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil to keep the fregola from drying out. Discard bay leaf.
- Add the chopped parsley, chives, celery, sun dried tomatoes and olives. Combine thoroughly together.
- By this time, the lentils should be done. Drain and combine with the salad.
- Adjust seasonings.
- Once salad has been plated, drizzle lemon juice and olive oil over the top.
- Sprinkle with toasted walnuts, if using.
Recipe Notes:Please keep in mind that the nutritional information provided below is just a rough estimate and variations can occur depending on the specific ingredients used.